Not sure how to talk to your doctor about how you are feeling? Check out our "Learn" page and click the "Resources/External Links" button for a quick and easy Mental Health checklist that will help you get started. Starting a conversation with your OB/GYN or Primary Care Doctor is the best first step to take in your recovery.
Types of Professional Resources
When it comes to perinatal mood disorders (PMDs), it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start to seek professional help. The following is a list of type of local professionals that can treat PMDs and the type of assistance each can provide:
Primary Care Provider or OB/GYN. One of the quickest ways to be assessed and treated for postpartum depression and anxiety is to call and see your OB/GYN provider or primary care provider as soon as possible. Tell the triage nurse what symptoms you are having and ask to be seen right away. These providers can assess, diagnose and treat you right away, with medication if needed. They will monitor your symptoms and connect you to mental health resources and counseling support if needed.
License clinical social workers (LCSW or LCPC- counselor) or psychologist can provide counseling support. They can help with new role transitions and coping skills to manage depression and anxiety symptoms.
Behavioral health nurse practitioner or psychiatrists can provide assessment, diagnosis, medication management and sometimes counseling support. Behavioral health nurse practitioners (PMHNP) are knowledgeable, specialists in mental health treatment.
Many healthcare organizations have psychiatric nurse practitioners and psychiatrist in their networks and family practice offices such as Intermed and Martin’s Point, St. Mary’s Health Care Systems, Southern Maine Healthcare and Mid Coast Health Care. Your family doctor can refer you to one of their mental health specialist.
MHAme Empathy Circles
There can be great healing when you connect with other women that are experiencing PMAD symptoms. Our empathy circles provide support to uplift a new mother through a difficult time and connect women to a caring community where they can be understood. We are naturally attuned for connection as humans and this kind of support can help us feel stronger, reducing hopelessness, loneliness, stress, anxiety and depression. Studies validate the efficacy of empathy groups as a means of social support and a level of care that promotes a person’s well being.
Our group support sessions are open to all mothers and free of charge. The circles are facilitated by trained volunteers and held twice per month in Portland. Come, connect and feel support of other mothers.
Click here for more information about MHAme's empathy circles.
Connect With Local Professionals
**If you feel like you are in crisis, please call the Maine Crisis Hotline IMMEDIATELY: 1-888-568-1112**
The following is a partial list of local organizations and providers that can diagnose and treat perinatal mood disorders. This list is still a work in progress and we will be updating this section on an ongoing basis:
Maine Behavioral Health run by Maine Medical Center has mental health clinics a provider can refer you to in Westbrook, Portland, Biddeford/Saco area. Their number is 1-844-292-0111. They take several months to get an appointment to be seen and the provider needs to call. You will need care with another provider while waiting to see a mental health specialist in these offices. http://www.mainebehavioralhealthcare.org
- Psychology Today (https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/state/Maine.html?gclid=CIuRicP0nNMCFQyOaQodc9wLfg) also lists psychiatrist and psychiatric NP’s.
- U Compare Healthcare (http://www.ucomparehealthcare.com/drs/physician_specialty) list many psychiatrists some of these are not in private practice but are employed by hospitals which may have outpatient practices that see private patients.
- Check with your insurance company for a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner who is in network with your plan. There is typically a phone number on the back of your card for Behavioral Health Services.